Looking for Light at the End of a Long, Dark Molalla Tunnel!

I would love for our county, state and nation to rally behind a threshold of humanityNobody likes to be told what to do—they want to be part of your solution…” -Jamie Damon, in a May 18 interview in the Clackamas Review after her appointment to the Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners (BCC).

Last night, the City of Molalla approved a budget that DIDN’T include a salary for a fake planner in a failed planning department! And the beginning of Sept. marks the end of the attempt at autocratic rule by failed city manager Atkins as he retires.

Yesterday, I got a message from an ODOT official who noted that she was told that on July 1 Clackamas County would begin to provide County Contract Planning for the City of Molalla.

It looks like the hard work of the majority of the City Councilors and concerned citizens has finally paid off. Getting the deficit spending monkey of fake planning off the back of the City might present a change toward consensus building and moving Molalla into 21st century goals for a refreshing change.

Let’s hope that the evolved Council doesn’t stop – inquiring minds need to dig deep into the past workings of nepotism filled City Hall and make certain that the people who work for the City in the future are hired on the basis of professional qualifications instead of what good old boys someone is buddies with. Drinking beer or playing cards with someone in power must no longer be used as a path to a big salary at the expense of the public. Incompetence must mean a quick boot out the door. The waste of public money on insane greed can’t be tolerated further. Legally indefensible anything has to be recognized as such immediately if Molalla is to regain any respect.

In modern society, for a City to gain respect, every worker needs to be a consummate professional. We’re not living in the good old boys era where who you know or how long you lived here counts – it has to ONLY be about how qualified and how ethical you are. We can’t afford anything less in any level of government. Sustainable practices are no longer just  cute buzz words – they are  a necessity if public institutions are going to survive into the future.

City Councilors and interested members of the greater Molalla community would do well to look at the citizen involvement policies, sustainability practices and opportunities at Clackamas County. The County is a nationally recognized leader in providing forums for diverse citizen input.

On May 15 at 7pm at the Molalla Library the Hamlet of Molalla Prairie will host two outstanding County leaders, Cam Gilmour and Jamie Damon, at a citizen forum.

Cam Gilmour, Director of Clackamas County Department of Transportation and Development, has outstanding expertise and great listening skills. Gilmour oversees all planning, code enforcement, and road issues in Clackamas County. He will provide a great introduction to City residents who will soon depend upon professional County planning for development permits. Gilmour is a staunch advocate for citizen participation in all aspects of government.

After dealing with County and City planning for years, I think City residents are in for a delightful customer service experience with County.

No more will arbitrary, unethical, wasteful and sloppy planning impact Molalla’s future!

No more will time and money be wasted on “aspirational” planning that only honors the needs of the rich and corrupt good old boy cabal!

No more will citizens be insulted by bad customer service!

No more will we have to dig for transparency and accountability!

With County Contract Planning, everyone will be treated to a level playing field when County takes over. That is essential for the future of greater Molalla.

Jamie Damon’s first act as a County Commissioner after being sworn in on May 15th at 4:30 will be to come to the Hamlet meeting so she can begin to learn about local needs and concerns. The Molalla area should be highly honored that Damon’s first official outreach will be in Molalla.

Aside from being the only member of the BCC who lives rural (Damon is an Eagle Creek resident), Damon’s background as a mediation specialist should serve as a model for the changes needed to bring consensus building to groups in the Molalla area.

I was heartened by a couple of Damon’s quotes in the May 18 Clackamas Review that noted her unanimous appointment to the BCC:

I would love for our county, state and nation to rally behind a threshold of humanity,” Damon said. “You might be surprised that people would want to put more money into making sure that people don’t fall through the cracks.

Damon said that her first task as commissioner would be to meet with department heads and staff to find out their suggestions for improvement.

“Nobody likes to be told what to do—they want to be part of your solution,” she said.”

We’ve got a hard path ahead in Molalla. Now that a fortune has been spent and lost on Quixotic failed planning and now that the 97038 area has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the state, it’s time to recognize that our deep economic crisis means we must welcome all input we can get to find  solutions to make sure that people don’t fall through the cracks”

The door is opening wide for YOUR voice to be heard. Let’s break down the nasty “inside the city, outside the city” barriers!

I’m excited that both City and rural dwellers have a chance on May 15th to see what Gilmour and Damon have to offer with their interest in consensus building. I hope we can use their lead as a springboard to better days ahead so that Molalla will join with the County and State instead of constantly ignoring the writing on the wall.

And hey, those Hamlet meetings have been providing some great refreshments – come on down even if all you are looking for is a handful of cookies. You never know, you might have a light bulb idea to share.  We certainly can use all the input possible in these hard times!

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